UNISON and NIPSA members in all employment areas in the health service in Northern Ireland will begin action short of strike action from Monday 5 December. Health service wide strike action will take place on Monday 12 December. This is the first strike in the health service since 2019.
A return to strike action is a reflection of the depth of the crisis in the health service. Health workers in Northern Ireland who have made enormous sacrifices during the COVID pandemic have not even received a 2022/23 pay offer from their employers. An effective and efficient health service cannot be based on driving down the living standards of staff some of whom who now rely on food banks. A decent pay rise is essential to maintain the stability of the workforce and retain staff.
To achieve the best possible outcome for all health service workers, NIPSA and UNISON recognise that cooperation between trade unions is essential. Both unions are committed to working together in all Trusts on our industrial action strategies and ensuring the wider alliance of trade unions across the health service pursues a decent pay rise.
NIPSA and UNISON together represent members across all areas and professions in the health service in Northern Ireland and will fight for a settlement that meets our call to protect workers against inflation and the cost of living crisis.
Patient safety remains very important for health staff who will take industrial action. Discussions have already begun to ensure the employers take the necessary steps to protect patients during the dispute.